The Scriptures tell us that the religious leaders of Israel sentenced Jesus to death: “the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, assembled together to the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas. And they consulted so that they might take Jesus by guile and kill Him” (Matthew 26:3-4).
These leaders were threatened by Jesus’ popularity. Their influence with the people was rapidly diminishing. In malice, they gathered a council and asked, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs” (John 11:47-48). Then, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said to them, “it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish” (v. 50). Caiaphas argued that even if Jesus was innocent, it would be to Israel’s well being to have Him killed. So, “they plotted to put Him to death” (John 11:53).
But because the Jews were under Roman rule, they sought the ratification of their sentence from the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:22-25). And they succeeded in their plans. The Romans crucified Jesus (Matthew 27:27-37).
The Bible also tells us that people that Jesus so freely taught, healed, and blessed were also involved in the crime for they demanded His death from Pilate saying, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” as He stood on trial (Luke 23:21). When Pilate, in an effort to free Jesus, gave them the choice between Barabbas and Jesus, the people chose to free Barabbas (Matthew 27:21). Thus, they were guilty of shedding the blood of the Son of God (Acts 2:22-23).
But in a larger sense, we are all guilty of shedding the blood of Jesus because He died to save us from our sins, for the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But God, in infinite mercy, offered His Son to redeem mankind from eternal death (Romans 5:8; 6:23). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). There is no greater love than this (John 15:13).
It is God’s goodness that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4). But there is one condition, and that is faith, believing that Christ can help us overcome (John 1:12). “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:12). The possession of everlasting life is conditional upon Christ’s abiding in the heart by faith. He who believes has everlasting life and has “passed from death unto life” (John 5:24, 25; 6:54; 8:51).
In His service,
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